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already been written. Sir William Gell's " Topography of Rome and its Vicinity " is a mine of antiquarian information. Some slight sketches of different points of interest, especially of the monasteries in the neighbourhood, may be found in the different works of Hemans. The author would especially express his constant debt of gratitude to "Cramer's Ancient Italy," and to many of the wonderfully accurate articles in "Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography." Story's charming "Roba di Roma," and several admirable novels, especially "The Marble Faun" (foolishly called "Transformation" in England), "Barbara's History," and more especially George Sand's "Daniella," abound in charming word-pictures of the Campagna and the nearer places on the hills. But for more distant excursions, the English books of reference are easily exhausted, with one great exception,—" Dennis' Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria." In studying this delightful work, and even in the few extracts given in these volumes, the reader who knows Rome will seem to feel again the fresh breeze from the Sabine and Alban hills sweeping over the Campagna, laden with a scent of sweet basil and thyme, and he will enjoy again in their remembrance that glow of enthusiasm which the real scenes brought into them. The great volumes of Dennis are too large to be companions on the excursions themselves, but in preparation for them will be charming fireside companions for Roman winter evenings. German scholars will delight in the charming volumes of Gregorovius, and especially in his " Lateinische Sommer," than which no descriptive book is more pictorial or more interesting. The best and most accurate Hand-books of Italy which have* yet been published are also in German—those of Dr. Th.
VOL. I. 2
Gsell-fels, assisted by admirable maps, and though they are exceedingly unequal, as if the author had only visited in person a portion of the district he describes, in some places they are almost exhaustive. The small Hand-books of Baedeker are very convenient and practical, and are generally very carefully corrected.
It must necessarily be with the present work as with the many which have preceded it. Some who follow in the paths it indicates will think its descriptions exaggerated, others will find them not sufficiently glowing. For Rome, more than any other place, produces different impressions on different minds, f The Campagna in its ruin and desolation will be described as "dismal and monotonous," or "solemn and beautiful," according to the feelings of those who traverse it. Some will only be impressed with the dirt, the poverty, the ruinousness of the mountain-towns; others with their picturesqueness and colour. It is necessary to real enjoyment of these mountain places to cast out all the black motes which too often obscure our vision. When this is done, what a store of sunny memories may be laid up.
"Yea, from the very soil of silent Rome You shall grow wise; and walking, live again
The lives of buried peoples, and become
A child by right of that eternal home,
'Rome is unlike other towns in having scarcely any suburbs; on nearly every side one is in the country almost directly.
"St. John describes Rome, in the Apocalypse, as sitting upon her seven hills in the wilderness. And a wilderness indeed it is. First, in every direction that leads into the Campagna, you pass the inhabited streets; then comes a belt of vineyards and villas, fading off into
desolation as you proceed; then come the grand old walls, stretching away, with their richly-coloured brickwork and flanking towers. You pass out through a stately gate, through which legions have gone out and in fifteen hundred years ago, and you are in the Campagna. There it is before you, mile after mile, brownish green in the foreground, red in the middle distance, melting away into purple and blue in the farther distance, and bounded by a glorious bank of mountains, of colours not to be attempted by pen or pencil. Hardly a human habitation is visible, save where, on the Alban Hills to your right, the villages gleam out, sprinkling their gorgeous sides with spots of pearl. Ancient towers and tombs are cast at random about the waste. Flat it is not, but full of the most picturesque undulations, and even lines of low cliffs and winding streams. Endless are its varieties of beauty, in outline, in grouping, and above all, in colour. For miles and miles the ancient and modern aqueducts bridge it with their countless arches—haunts of all the lovely hues of the bow of heaven. Watch them in the yellow and orange of the morning and noonday sun; watch them mellowing off as the westering beam slopes on them, turning their gold to copper, then casting that copper into the glow of the furnace, then cooling it down into the dull iridescence of parting evening; watch them till the green grey of the fading light has subdued them into the sober mass of Undistinguished plain and mountain; then wrap your cloak double round you, and stride away through the chilled streets and" the thronging Corso to your steep open staircase, and your snug log fire, and meditate on as fair and heavenly a sight as ever blessed a day on this varied earth.
"Rome itself is a place of never-dying and ever-varying interest ; but the Campagna of Rome is a pure source of unfailing delight."—Dean Alford.
Yet without its varied mountain distances, without the glorious climate to illuminate it, it is almost impossible to say how ugly the Campagna would be. As it is it is perfectly beautiful. For so vast an expanse there are few marked features; only, here and there, the aqueducts, sometimes striding across the plain in mighty lines of arches garlanded against the sky with ivy and smilax, sometimes merely marked by a white line in the grass or a succession of miniature round towers over their openings. Between the aqueducts, run the roads, often following the course of the ancient Roman highways, and, as in the case of the Via Tiburtina, still paved with the blocks of black lava, laid down two thousand years ago, over which the wine-carts rattle with their revolving hoods (capote), shelters alike against sun and shower,—often drawn by grand, meek-eyed oxen. Hard by, the black crosses, sprinkled along the dusty wayside amongst the thistles, keep their dismal record of accidents or murders; and refuges of hurdles, erected at intervals, attest the ferocity of the Campagna buffaloes and the necessity of escape from them.'
In the winter the plain is crimson and gold with the decaying vegetation; but, as spring advances, it changes so rapidly to green, that it is as if it were suddenly touched with phosphoric light; and, as summer advances, the growth becomes coarse and rampagious to a degree—Virgins thistle, breast-high; rank anchusas; hemlock; huge resedas; acres covered with the tall and stately but poisonous asphodel, here and there a low bush of hawthorn, and a band of green osiers marking where the Anio meanders through a cleft. Almost every building is mediaeval, except those which are classical. The most conspicuous are the tall towers of brick and stone, relics for the most part of Orsini and Colonna feuds, and erected as a refuge for the shepherds of one of the great proprietors, against the inroads of his neighbours. Besides these, there are the huts built of reeds, such as Virgil describes, and the rifled tombs, now used as houses, in the doors of which we so often see the shepherd-wives, with folded panni shading their withered faces, seated spinning like the pictures of the Fates, while the shepherds themselves, dressed in goat-skins, watch their flocks on the neighbouring turfy hillocks.
"Next to the picturesquely conspicuous towers the most frequent landmarks are the conical shepherds' huts, usually on the higher grounds, inhabited during about half the year by a race of men so cut off from all social and civilizing influences that one might expect to find the lowest brutality, and all the fiercest passions, in a moral soil thus neglected. The shepherd of these parts, in his broad-brimmed black hat, long loose jacket and leggings, both alike of unshorn sheep or goatskin, might seem the original type whence an idealizing dream devised the mythologie satyrj His temporary dwelling is made of branches of the yellow-flowering Spanish broom, and is open at the pointed apex for the escape of smoke from the wood-fire lit in the middle, around which are ranged beds, something like berths in a ship, and usually for several people, as this hut is inhabited by many inmates, besides dogs or pigs, and at times sheep or goats, also privileged to enjoy its warmth and shelter. Here (it may be within sight of St. Peter's and the Lateran basilica) does this rude servant of the soil spend the long seasons of his monotonous existence, till the summer-sultriness obliges him to migrate with his dogs and sheep. The usual food of these outcast-looking beings is black bread and ricotta (ewe's-milk cheese). Yet, despite his wild and savage aspect, this shepherd, on near approach, proves a harmless creature; will sometimes beg in the humblest tone; and has the reputation of being consistently devout, his religion standing him in the stead of knowledge and ideas."—I lemon's Story of Monuments in Rome.
"Vous apercevez ça et là quelques bouts de voies romaines dans des lieux où il ne passe plus personne, quelques traces dessechées des torrents de l'hiver, qui, vues de loin, ont elles-mêmes l'air de chemins battus et fréquentés, et qui ne sont que le lit d'une onde orageuse, qui s'est écoulée comme le peuple romain. A peine découvrez-vous quelques arbres, mais vous voyez partout des ruines d'aqueducs et de tombeaux qui semblent être les forêts et les plantes indigènes d'une terre composée de la poussière des morts et des débris des empires; soîvent, dans une grande plaine, j'ai cru voir de riches moissons; je m'en approchais, et ce n'étaient que des herbes flétries qui avaient trompé mon ceil. Sous ces moissons arides, on distingue quelquefois les traces d'une ancienne culture. Point d'oiseaux, point de mugissements de troupeaux, point de villages; un petit nombre de fermes délabrées se montrent sur la nudité des champs; les fenctrc9 et les portes en sont fermées, il n'en sort ni fumée, ni bruit, ni habitants. Une espèce de sauvage, presque nu, pâle et miné par la fièvre, garde seulement ces tristes chaumières, comme ces spectres qui, dans nos histoires gothiques, défendent l'entrée des châteaux abandonnées. . . .